Google Glass: more tales from the intersection of society and tech

It seems like every week brings a new round of stories about Google Glass and the frictions that can arise as people grapple with questions about the proper uses of new technology.

Reuters is reporting Tuesday that Google has mounted lobbying efforts aimed at heading off legislation to ban or restrict the use of Glass while driving, in at least three states. We’ve reported before on the case of a Southern California woman who got a ticket for driving while wearing Glass, and then beat the citation in court by arguing that she was only wearing – but not using – the device behind the wheel.

Reuters counts eight other states where legislators have introduced bills that target Glass as a potential cause of distracted driving. Glass isn’t widely available, although Google has said it hopes to begin consumer sales this year. But the company clearly wants to have an early say in any discussions around regulating their use.

Meanwhile, from San Francisco comes the story of a Glass owner who was demonstrating the gadget for someone at the bar of a Haight Street tavern. KPIX 5 reported that the exchange started out friendly, but things got ugly when some other patrons apparently got upset about the possibility the device might be recording them.

Sarah Slocum reportedly had her Glass ripped off her face, and someone stole her purse and phone, according to KPIX, which spoke with bar patrons to confirm an account Slocum posted on her Facebook page. As Slocum put it, “OMG … I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some *** Google Glass haters.”

We’ve heard of other cases where people reacted negatively, or over-reacted, to Glass-wearers. (And cases where bars banned the device, although at least some of those seemed to be publicity stunts.) Sometimes it’s because people don’t understand how the device works – it doesn’t record constantly, and the tiny prism lights up when it is recording. Other times, it seems the wearers were acting in a manner that annoyed others. Google acknowledged the potential for friction in its recent posting on Glass etiquette, which advises that Glass owners shouldn’t expect to be ignored.

(Photo of woman trying Glass by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)




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  • Bork

    Thanks….I’ll wait for the September 19th release of the Apple version called the iPatch

  • sam liu

    that’s what innovators get: time for the public to adapt

  • sam liu

    that’s what innovators get: time for the public to adapt

  • Steve Hammill

    There is no such thing as an “over-reaction” to Google glass. The device itself is evil.

    In a world where we are snooped on constantly, this additional intrusion is simply over the top. …who cares that there is a red light on the glass when it’s recording – there have already been posts on how to disable that red light!

    So for those wearing the thing constantly, they bring any harm that they experience on themselves. It is only a matter of time before a Glass wearer is hung, shot, or beaten to death by someone who prizes their anonymity. It is the peril of being a pioneer; the natives may not like you.

  • alrui

    These glassholes should be shunned!

  • Gary Doan

    Product announcements without launch dates were called vaporware, before Google.

  • Albert Bourgess

    why is it the people who get in trouble with google glass tend to be completely shocked at the reaction? i find it crazy that the dimwit talked herself out of the ticket, but heres hoping she gets into a car accident really quick and the airbag pushes that little display into her eyesocket….